How to Bet
First of all, you need to select a horse, or possibly more than one. Among many tried and tested methods, choosing the horse with the most interesting name frequently works as well as anything. Other techniques might involve choosing the jockey with the most attractive silks, or studying the racecard and looking at the horse’s past form. You’ll find helpful comments describing the chances of each horse in the racecard (these are written by professional form experts – although you might not always know it from the results).
Once you have decided which horse or horses to bet on you have several options.
Bookmakers – you can bet with the traditional bookmakers in the Betting Ring which is located behind the Tweedie Grandstand. Each displays slightly different odds on their boards – so check out the prices offered and select the best odds available. As an example, odds of 3/1 mean that, if your horse wins, you would collect £3 for every £1 that you stake – but you’d also have your stake returned too (so a total of £4 altogether).
Tote Bets – these are available throughout the racecourse (see the red-branded counters) and the profits help to support the sport.
The Tote operates in a similar way to a sweepstake, where the pool of money is split between each of the winning tickets. The odds are declared once the result of the race is known and is shown as a dividend. A Tote dividend of £4 is is the equivalent to bookmakers odds of 3/1.
In addition the traditional Win or Place bets, the Tote offers other more exotic bets like the Exacta (picking the first two horses in the correct order) and the Placepot (picking a horse to be placed in each of the first 6 races). These are more difficult to predict, but have the potential to pay out higher returns. The Tote staff are very friendly and will happily explain how each type of bet works.
Remember to keep your betting ticket safe as you will need this to collect any winnings after the race.